By: Jon Collette- Prototype Nutrition Coach
Did you know that you DO NOT need to sacrifice social drinking to lose weight?! 🍺🍷
If your goal is weight loss OR to maintain the weight that you are at, you may want to read this!
As you may be aware, there is A TON of conflicting information out there in regards to diet and nutrition. What we prescribe and live by here at CFP is fueling your body based on your goals AND aligning that with your lifestyle. Many of our clients at CFP have social lifestyles and like to have a few drinks on the weekend. Is that bad? ABSOLUTELY NOT. So we decided to let you all know how to do it!
We get the question A LOT from our clients at CFP and that is “Do I need to stop drinking alcohol to lose weight?”. Sometimes the answer is yes, but more than 90% of the time, the answer is no! With that being said, we aren’t promoting or encouraging you to drink alcohol (remember, this is poison to your body) but realistically, our lifestyles include having the occasional cocktail or beer from our favorite brewery.
SO HOW DO YOU DO IT?!
You ideally need to know in advance that you’re going to have some drinks, whether that is when you are out to dinner, to a brewery or to a social event… or for no occasion at all! Basically, you need to do a bit of planning in order to make this happen vs. just winging it like we often tend to do. YOU NEED TO have a plan to be able to manage your calories!
Your drink choice should be based off a few things:
1. Do I plan to have more than one?
2. What’s the best option that I’ll enjoy?
3. Will I be eating as well?
If we are going to be at an event for several hours we might assume we are going to have more than one drink. If that’s the plan I would aim for a lower calorie drink like vodka with seltzer water or hard alcohol w/diet soda to limit the number of calories that you take in. If we can keep our drinks under 100 calories that would be ideal if we are having serval. A Craft beer is around 250-350 calories so 3 low cal drinks could equal one heavy beer.
Side note: If you’re a beer person and you enjoy IPAs I would keep it to one drink and have a lower calorie meal to pair with it.
What you want to avoid is high-calorie drinks paired with high-calorie foods. For example, a hamburger with sweet potato fries and 2-3 IPAs pair with that meal is not an uncommon meal for many people (and if you’re looking to lose weight, this could be a recipe for disaster!).
A typical hamburger can be anywhere between 500-1000 calories, sweet potato fries can range from 200-500 calories and that delicious #Treehouse IPA is in the 250-350 calorie range. Total, on the low end, that’s around 1000 calories assuming you only had one beer and the calories, on the high end you’re looking at 2500 calories (if you’re having 3 IPAs).
So if you want to eat like this, you have to manage what you put in your body earlier in the day, so let’s think about how our other meals should look…
1.) Nutrient-Dense Foods
2.) Lean Protein
3.) Reduce Starchy Carbs
We never want to go out drinking on an empty stomach so we tend to recommend to our clients to eat nutrient-dense foods earlier in the day. Fill your plate with veggies, keep starchy carbs reduced to save calories for your alcohol and have lots of lean protein with your meal. Think of it like this… eat a lot of veggies and lean protein earlier in the day so you have a surplus to work with when you go out.
Again, this post isn’t promoting or encouraging you to drink alcohol but it may be realistic to say that you’re going to drink from time to time. Having a drink socially shouldn’t be a day off from your nutrition and you can still make progress if you have a plan beforehand!
There is a lot more to it than this, so if you are interested in learning more about how we can help you with your nutrition goals, please do not hesitate to reach out!